Red Bull’s Penalty

Both of the Red Bull RB10 cars will start the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from the pit lane after they were found to have illegal front wings and excluded from the qualifying.

According to various sources, the cars failed inspection due to a section of the wing cascade being mounted on a hidden leaf spring mechanism that allowed it to flex downwards at higher speed to reduce drag.  This was a breach of rule 3.15 which states that cars are not allowed to have any moveable aerodynamic devices. red bull racing News

It’s important to note that the type of flexibility that’s caused the problem in Abu Dhabi is not the same as the flexible wings that teams such as Red Bull have used in the past.  Over the past few seasons the teams have used the layup of carbon fibre in the wings to enable them to bend downwards to create a ground effect at speed for more downforce.  This type of wing was tested under regulation 3.17 which states the parameters under which wings would be tested.

In the latest case, it seems that part of the adjustment mechanism that the teams can tune during the race had a secondary function enabled by a spring that meant the cascade would flex downwards.

In a statement, the team said that they were disappointed and would accept the ruling to exclude them from qualifying, but:

other teams are interpreting the rules in a similar fashion

The team were forced to change their wings for ones without the controversial devices, and as a result of breaking the Parc Ferme regulations to make the swap will need to start from the pit lane.  Given that the championship hangs on the outcome of the event it appears that the team were not given the opportunity to race under appeal in case their presence could prevent the championship being settled by the direct outcome of the race.


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